Elizabeth Cannon: Understanding and education spark important global connections | Calgary Herald

Cannon: Understanding and education spark important global connections | Calgary HeraldBy Elizabeth Cannon. She is president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary.

Imagine a young Canadian student — perhaps 20 years old — waking up in a rural village in the heart of Pakistan.

His or her practicum work for the day includes assisting a young woman learning to care for her infant, teaching a pre-natal class to a dozen expectant mothers and listening to and sharing examples of positive health practices for mothers and their children.

Source: Calgary Herald / Elizabeth Cannon / May 9, 2018

Or perhaps imagine that an established researcher, working to find ways to bring education to remote communities in Eastern Africa, is using the latest technology in the most basic of settings.

While challenging, these activities are also very enriching, and they come to the University of Calgary through an important partnership that has existed for decades.

This week, as the Aga Khan visits our city, we are reminded of our very significant partnership with the Aga Khan Development Network.

As he celebrates his 60th anniversary as the imam of Shia Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan, chairman and founder of the Aga Khan Development Network, is visiting Calgary.

For the university, this visit during a year of celebrations to mark his diamond jubilee reminds us of some of the milestones we have attained working alongside the diverse agencies established by the Aga Khan, allowing us to learn more about how we can contribute to social and human development, both here and abroad.

Active in more than 30 countries, the Aga Khan Development Network focuses on health, education, cultural and economic revitalization and development, the advancement of civil society and protection of the environment.

Source: Calgary Herald / Elizabeth Cannon / May 9, 2018

The University of Calgary’s connections to the network and the Ismaili community began more than two decades ago, and we’ve been fortunate to link our students, faculty and researchers across many disciplines to programs abroad, affording opportunities to work with one of the largest private development agencies in the world.

Working as partners, the Werklund School of Education, the Aga Khan Foundation Canada and Aga Khan Education Services Teaching Support have placed our teachers in schools in Bangladesh, Tanzania and Uganda.

The University of Calgary’s connections to the network and the Ismaili community began more than two decades ago

Our faculty of nursing, collaborating with the Aga Khan University, has focused on teaching maternal and newborn classes and workshops in Pakistan, Kenya and Tanzania.

In a partnership between University of Calgary International, the Werklund School and the Aga Khan University, we’ve developed a program of technology-enhanced learning that has resulted in collaborative research and course development in East Africa.

These linkages have sparked other connections with the network as well as in local communities, where the spirit of volunteerism and support for humanitarian causes within the cities and towns in which Ismailis live and work is well known.

Recently, the Aga Khan Foundation Canada and University of Calgary International hosted a presentation for faculty and students entitled Youth (Un)Employment: Global Problems meet Local Solutions.

In an ongoing program, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships have provided awards for students in nursing to study and work in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Based on that program, Universities Canada has funded a partnership focused on the health of mothers and children and perinatal mental health services in Pakistan and East Africa.

And our faculty of arts has developed a Muslim civilizations program, partnering with the local Ismaili community to host important scholars in Islamic studies for various programming opportunities.

Source: Calgary Herald / Elizabeth Cannon / May 9, 2018

The varied connections we’ve established are clearly important, and they are a significant element in our internationalization efforts and our obligation to serve the needs of our community.

This week, as the Aga Khan visits our city, we are reminded of our very significant partnership with the Aga Khan Development Network.

These examples of his international outreach efforts — and our association with the various agencies throughout the network — highlight the deep connections forged by the University of Calgary and an important individual and an important international institution.

On the occasion of his diamond jubilee, we congratulate the Aga Khan and look forward to continued positive collaborations in the years to come.

Source: Calgary Herald / Elizabeth Cannon / May 9, 2018

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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